ICSM 002


• L. v. Beethoven, Bagatelles Op. 126

• R. Schumann, Gesänge der Frühe, Op. 133

• J. Brahms, 6 Chorale Preludes Op. 122 (transcription F. Busoni)

Ivo Varbanov, piano    

Legacy…It is this idea of late style that seems to inspire Varbanov: His playing has a quality of utmost subtlety, reverence, and seriousness of purpose; it is profound music, yet delivered in a simple and recognizable manner. The pianist’s playing is ideally suited to this anything but virtuosic program—though one not without its difficulties—especially in the more lyrical moments. — Scott Noriega, Fanfare

Within this theme of last keyboard works, Varbanov presents a wide variety of mood and technique. He makes a particularly strong case for the Schumann pieces through his forceful, committed delivery. Varbanov’s reading of the Beethoven bagatelles is assured and unadorned…I like the stout (dare one say Lutheran?) spiritual conviction Varbanov brings to them. This whole recital…is pungent and intriguing.— Huntley Dent, Fanfare

Di questa prospettiva sono indicativi gli straordinari Canti dell’alba di Schumann, che Varbanov interpreta dando molto risalto alle risonanze dei bassi ma evitando ogni magniloquenza, come se tutto fosse immerso in un’atmosfera dai colori pastello. – Luca Segalla, Rivista Musica


ICSM 003


• F. Schubert, Moments musicaux, Op. 94 (D780)

• R. Schumann, Phantasiestücke, Op. 12

• A. Schoenberg, 6 kleine Klavierstücke, Op. 19

Fiammetta Tarli, piano 

Schoenberg, though brief is a reason enough to own this CD. Here Tarli is brilliant and articulate, allowing the background Romanticism of these pieces to come to the fore.  I would welcome a CD of twentieth-century piano music from Tarli. – HI-FI+ 

Freedom… Tarli…performs…with both style and flair. Some of the highlights of her disc… are magical, such as her fiery, yet at times light-hearted reading of Schumann’s “Aufschwung,” her impassioned way with “In der Nacht,” or the ultimate stillness she creates in the last of Schoenberg’s six pieces. — Scott Noriega, Fanfare

Tarli plays the Moments musicaux with an unaffected directness that allows them to speak with charm and grace. The Fantasiest?cke is… fully mature Schumann, marked by all the arabesque-like keyboard figuration, spontaneous-sounding melodic sweep, Romantic impulse, and technically demanding virtuosity, all of which Tarli demonstrates her mastery of and real feeling for… — Jerry Dubins, Fanfare

I would place Tarli’s readings [of Schoenberg’s Six Piano Pieces Op. 19] on equal footing with those I’ve heard by Roland Pöntinen on BIS and Maurizio Pollini on Deutsche Grammophon, and she is better recorded on this ICSM release than either of them.— Jerry Dubins, Fanfare

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